For the second time in less than a week, River Radamus (Edwards, Colo.) was victorious at FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Val di Fassa, Italy. On Monday, Radamus won by nearly a second, and was crowned World Juniors Giant Slalom Champion.
After winning last Thursday’s super-G, grabbing the silver in the team event, and then finishing just off the podium in fourth in Saturday’s alpine combined, Radamus found the fire and brought it into Monday’s giant slalom. A deep and talented giant slalom field took on a challenging – though relatively short – new giant slalom track with a lot of terrain and a fallaway pitch. The field included some notable athlete who have scored FIS Ski World Cup points and those who had ben on the Europa Cup podium this year. “Both course sets had a lot of turn-shape in them, requiring a mix of tactical and attacking skiing,” said Alpine Development Director Chip Knight.
Radamus took the lead over Norway’s Lucas Braathen by just .01 seconds in the first run. In the second run, Braathen extended his lead over Italian Tobias Kastlunger by nearly 1.2 seconds at the first split, but then did not finish. Leaving the start gate with an advantage of .77 seconds, Radamus built on his lead, finishing a whopping .84 seconds over Italy’s Kastlunger. Belgium’s Sam Maes rounded out the podium in third, .93 seconds back.
“The giant slalom title is the one I’ve really been craving,” Radamus said after his big win. “I’ve been working on GS most this season, and I really wanted to have a strong showing here. This is a really tough field – there are a lot of good young guys right now – so I knew it was going to b be a fight and I had to send it as hard as I could. I really executed my line on both runs and feel really proud of it.”
It was, once again, a team effort, as six Americans made it into the top 27 in Monday’s giant slalom. Kyle Negomir (Littleton, Colo.) was 13th, Jett Seymour (Steamboat, Colo.) 17th, Jimmy Krupka (Waitsfield, Vt.) 25th, Cooper Cornelius (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) 26th, and Bridger Gile (Aspen, Colo.) 27th. “I was hyped up by my teammates today,” reflected Radamus. “We had six in the top 30 – way more than any other nation – so to have that sort of strong showing is amazing.” Radamus is hoping that the team’s showing today will further propel them forward in the overall team performance standings. The “Marc Hodler” trophy is awarded for overall team performance.
“I was just feeding off of their energy and they were feeding off of mine, and we were just trying to shoot for top-10s and get that Hodler Cup podium,” noted Radamus. “We’ve been shut out of the Hodler Cup the last two years that I’ve been racing, so it was a really big goal of mine to try to get us on the podium this year. We had another strong showing today, and we’re sitting in third looking good, trying to close it out the last couple of races.”
“Outstanding day for River!” exclaimed Knight. “He executed two great runs, which is a testament to his ability as a skier and a competitor. The rest of the guys all competed well today. We had all six in the top-30, which is a good sign of our depth as a team. Some of them were unsatisfied with the outcome, but they’ll learn from the experience of competing on this stage and move forward.”